Hospitality trade bodies have called on government to freeze the late-night levy payments that some late-night businesses have been required to pay despite lockdown and curfew restrictions.

In a joint letter to crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse, UK Hospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping have highlighted that some businesses in areas with the late-night levy continue to be liable for the tax, regardless of whether or not they are operating.

Under current legislation, local authorities are not permitted to cancel or freeze payments for late night levies, and the trade bodies have asked government to give them the power to do so.

They have also called for confirmation that businesses will receive refunds for payments made while they were closed or unable to operate as late-night businesses.

A joint spokesperson said: “We need the Government to act on this issue as a matter of urgency. Late-night venues are either closed altogether or operating at a fraction of their normal revenue. All the while, they continue to bleed money.

“The Home Office must recognise that the levy no longer applies when much of the sector is still closed and those that are open cannot do so after 10pm in England, or at all in Wales currently. Local authorities must be given the power to cancel levy payments. That is the first step. We then need confirmation that businesses will receive a refund for fees that they have been forced to pay, even though they were closed.”